Remarks at the closing of the 56th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs
15 March 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have come to the closing of this session of the CND.
Throughout your hard work in these five days, you have shown your commitment to meaningful discussion bound to wise decision-making.
Our collective voice is a strong one. We have started our p reparations for the high-level review of the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action due next year.
The resolution on this issue is a milestone in our collective journey, which starts with the high-level review next year at the CND, but ends at the special session of the General Assembly in 2016.
The CND has a crucial role to play in defining the international drug control system of the 21 st Century.
UNODC stands ready to support the CND and to be the secretariat of the preparatory process.
Many other important decisions have been taken at this session.
In the resolution on the worrying issue of New Psychoactive Substances, we have called for a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated approach from the international community.
Another resolution on United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development was also passed.
Other important resolutions relating to extending the mandate of FINGOV, HIV, forensic drug profiling, data collection and strengthening the principle of common and shared responsibility, just to name a few, were also adopted.
A large number of side-events have also been held.
Ranging from the presentation of the EU Drugs strategy to an alternative development programme in Myanmar.
And from, the latest trends, threats and challenges in global precursor control to countering cash smuggling.
Our activities countering illicit drugs from Afghanistan have been helped through the various meeting held at the session.
These are: ministerial meetings of the Triangular Initiative, of the AKT Initiative, and the high level meetings of the Steering Committees of the regional programmes for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and South Eastern Europe and many bilateral consultations among interested partners.
The results of these meetings, often held on the margins, but never marginal, have helped solidify cooperation and coordination against illicit drugs.
On Wednesday, I attended an informal dialogue with civil society. The discussion was frank, open and, I think, useful.
The work of civil society, especially in the field is invaluable. Let us maintain our strong relationship.
During the 56 th Session, UNODC launched International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, which recognize that science-based prevention means working with families, schools and communities.
These standards are an investment in the future of people.
Using these standards, UNODC will help those who need support to escape their past and claim a new life free of illicit drug use.
But, they are much more than standards, they are another example of how UNODC places health, treatment and prevention of drug use and HIV, as well as human rights, at the forefront of its work.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With each passing session, we add, we polish, and in so doing, we advance the ability of nations to confront illicit drugs, while also ensuring the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes.
Our work is founded on shared responsibility for all the actions of the international community in this area.
This duty is not founded on national size, or economic strength, or even geography, but on the certainty that only international cooperation can assist the millions of people around the world who need our help.
To conclude, let me refer once again to UNGA resolution 67/193 of December last year on international cooperation against the world drug problem.
This resolution was passed by Member States unanimously, it means that the path we are following has been agreed by every state party to the drug conventions.
Together let us make sure that we continue to move forward in unanimity on the issue of drug control.
My office will do everything possible to help achieve this objective.
Once again, I thank all of you for your participation in this event.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Chair of the Commission and the Bureau for all their hard work, and, to you, Mr. Chairman for your leadership.
I would like also to thank my colleagues from the Secretariat of the session for their work. My thanks also to the interpreters, to all conference service staff, protocol and security colleagues. I hope delegates have appreciated your dedication.